NFL COMBINE: Q & A with Georgia’s A.J. Green

If the Liberty Bowl is A.J. Green's last game at UGA, will he be remembered as the best receiver in school history? Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

If the Liberty Bowl is A.J. Green's last game at UGA, will he be remembered as the best receiver in school history? Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com

INDIANAPOLIS – Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green spoke with the assembled media at the NFL combine.

He measured in at 6-3 1/2 and 211 pounds.

Here’s how his session went:

Q: Talk about your decision to leave school early for the NFL.

A: There is a small window of opportunity and you have to capitalize on it. I’m very close to getting my degree,

I just made the best choice for me and my family.

Q: You had some injuries throughout your career, are you worried about your durability?

A: No sir, I only had a grade-three separation in my shoulder and there was nothing else I had to deal with. Nothing serious.

Q: How did playing at Georgia help prepare you for the NFL?

A: Running a pro-style offense, had a chance to work with (Matthews) Stafford. He taught me a lot of stuff and just

helped me take my game to the next level.

Q: What are you trying to improve on?

A: Getting your craft right, running routes, studying your opponents a little more, things like that.

Q: You and Julio Jones have been linked for a long time, is there a competition there?

A: We’re working out at the same place in Phoenix. We’re friends, we work out together, he’s a great guy.

Q: What are you working on to show NFL teams?

A: Being a student of the game, route running and my public relations sometimes.

Q: What are your strengths for the pro game?

A: My work ethic, I’m not going to settle for being an average receiver. I take that to the heart to be one of the best.

I want to be the #1 receiver out of school and be mentioned with the best.

Q: Looking back, asses your team’s season last year at Georgia.

A: We had our ups and downs, the one thing was we were resilient, you can go back and put on the practice tape. Working hard, no matter the situation.

Q: Do NFL teams ask about the violations and what about character concerns?

A: Definitely, you can talk to anyone I’ve been around – I definitely don’t have character concerns, it was just bad judgment on my part.

Q: Have any former Georgia players helped you with this process?

A: I had Stafford, “Mo” (Mohamed Massaquoi) – he’s my mentor since I stepped foot onto Georgia’s campus and I turn to him for advice. Mike Moore with the Lions. I’ve got a lot of guys I can turn to.

Q: How has playing in the SEC helped your preparations for the NFL?

A: Week in and week out was a grind, no easy games in the SEC. I feel like it helped me prepare for the next level, competing every week.

Q: Toughest match up you’ve faced?

A: There have been a couple. The two Colorado corners, Jimmy Smith and the other guy (Jalil Brown) were pretty good, Patrick (Peterson), you know, and Janoris Jenkins, some of the best.

Q: Are you running here?

A: I am running here

Q: What do you want to run?

A: I don’t know, you’ll have to see when I run it.

Q: Do you talk to Massaquoi for advice and would you like to play with him again?

A: When I’m talking to Mo, we don’t really talk football, he doesn’t like to talk football unless I ask him a question or something. But it’d be nice to play with him. My freshman year he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes so it’d be nice.

Q: What are you looking forward to most playing in the NFL?

A: Getting the lockout out of the way and getting a playbook.

Q: Do you and Julio (Jones) have a good natured competition to see who goes first?

A: No, like I said, me and Julio are just alike, we don’t get caught up in the hype and we’re just two guys trying to be the best. I think I’m the best, I’m going to do what I can to be the #1 receiver and I feel like Julio’s going to do his best – we’re not going to be mad if I’m not the top receiver drafted, it’s not going to mess with our friendship. Whatever happens, happens.

Q: Does it mean a lot to be the first receiver taken?

A: It doesn’t matter. I don’t worry about any of that. I’m going to do my part to try and be the best.

Q: What preparations are you taking for the NFL?

A: At the next level, everyone is great. Have to take it a little more seriously, you have to watch your opponent even more.

Q: How do you feel about returning kicks in the NFL?

A: Whatever it takes, I’m one of those guys where it doesn’t matter where they put me, I’m going to try and do my best.

Q: In the top-5, top-10, are you looking at any teams?

A: It’s not my job to look at any teams, they’ll evaluate me and I’ll see what I can do.

Q: Wide receivers are hit or miss – what can you do to show you aren’t a miss?

A: Turn on the practice film and the way I prepare week in and week out, just the way I approach practice just like a game.

Q: How much pride do you take in being the state of South Carolina’s all-time leading prep receiver?

A: I didn’t know that, so it’s an honor.

Q: Do you try and pattern your game after any NFL receivers?

A: Talked with Larry (Fitzgerald) a couple times, Andre Johnson. With Larry’s work ethic, I want to be great like him.

Q: Were you humbled by missing the first four games last season because of suspension?

A: Yeah, definitely. Growing up I didn’t have any adversity like that, that really humbled me and tightened my circle down to the people I need to be around and people who I need to distance myself from.

Q: How big are your hands?

A: They measured them, but I don’t remember.

Q: Who is your agent?

A: Ben Dogra and Tom Condon, CAA.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

29 comments Add your comment

furst

February 26th, 2011
3:08 pm

go AJ – you’ll go 1st

bigcalidawg

February 26th, 2011
4:29 pm

His measured comments indicate that he is being well coached (by his agents) and he takes well to coaching.

tharrell

February 26th, 2011
5:26 pm

AJ is going to be great in the NFL. We only got to see a glimpse at UGA of what he is gonna showcase at the next level! Goodluck AJ!! GO DAWGS!!!!
any guesses on his 40 time? I’m beatin 4.35

tharrell

February 26th, 2011
5:27 pm

I meant betting 4.35

Dawg89

February 26th, 2011
5:58 pm

Yes, very measured comments. I’m sure it is not the first time he has been asked these questions.

Jborodawg

February 26th, 2011
6:16 pm

Funny…he mentioned Stafford helping him get to this level and MoMass as an influence, but not the coaches. I’m a little disappointed with that.

But, best of luck, A.J.! You should do well at the next level. I hope you’ll always think of yourself as a Bulldog and always proud to have worn the Red And Black.

Michael

February 26th, 2011
6:33 pm

hell run a 4.45.

Speller

February 26th, 2011
6:46 pm

Did you get a Tech guy to spellcheck “assess” for you? The first spelling sums up most fo the Rambling Wreck’s fans.

bama52

February 26th, 2011
7:41 pm

Falcons need a pass rusher, Cameron Heyward maybe the man. The linebacker from UGA Houston could also be a good choice.

Tim dawg

February 26th, 2011
9:22 pm

AJ is going to be a great receiver. I really hate UGA never figured out how to use him in every game.

Tim dawg

February 26th, 2011
9:23 pm

Enter your comments here

Jamaica Dawg

February 26th, 2011
10:45 pm

“Q: Looking back, asses your team’s season last year at Georgia”

It never ceases to amaze me at the poor spelling (I believe you meant to say “assess”) and grammatical errors in the AJC sports sections. Don’t you guys proofread things?!? Gheez.

Also, how about coming up with some more interesting questions instead of “Are you running here” and “What do you want to run”?!?

uga-brave

February 27th, 2011
12:36 am

the joe cox year, only equaled by the greg talley year.

just two decdades apart.

JuneBaby

February 27th, 2011
3:02 am

Those are some of the stupidest questions i’ve ever heard, redundant and stupid. No wonder athletes have no respect for media personnel. And he’ll have to hear these same kind of questions for the next few months!

mgdawg

February 27th, 2011
9:40 pm

I hope AJ knows that a grade three seperation is the worst, there are only three grades.

Jin

February 28th, 2011
1:44 am

Atlanta…Imagine if we could buy alcohol on Sunday

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TOM_UuQzc0

JB

February 28th, 2011
1:42 pm

Off Subject, but America needs to know.. Obama loaned Brazil 2 billion to drill for oil off shore. All contracts/production with the oil company go to China….The companies largest share holder….George Soros……..Screwing this country by the day I tell ya…..

JB

February 28th, 2011
1:44 pm

And the gulf coast is STILL shut down( drilling) by the way……..Can we last two more years with this guy?

Marley

February 28th, 2011
1:51 pm

Jamaica Dawg, “Don’t you guys proofreed things?!? Gheez. I think you meant Jeez!

JB

February 28th, 2011
1:58 pm

Dnice

February 28th, 2011
2:49 pm

I’m glad you all helped me out because I was checking my eyes and had decided that I just dont know my “Ass” from my hand LMAO. Yeah very redundant questions. Ask specific questions about the camp and about hands not how big they are. If you were in a pass happy offense do you think you would catch a 1000 yards and what difference did you see in Stafford passed versus a JC or last year? Come on I can do a mad interview if AJC pay me right. Now come match my Uncle Sam salary.

Chi Town

February 28th, 2011
2:52 pm

Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuulio!!!

Old Boy

February 28th, 2011
4:50 pm

I hate to say it, but after the 40 runs, I think Julio might be the first receiver taken. The difference in 1/10 a second in the pros is enormous. The good thing about going later (if that indeed happens) is going to a better team.

WAR DAMN EAGLE

February 28th, 2011
8:17 pm

Funny he mentions the season at 6-7 being up & down-missing 4 games is down, right AJ? He’s a gifted receiver, got open a lot in SEC, but Julio Jones has more to offer. He will be a great player on Sundays…Both will have a huge impact in NFL if they don’t lockout this yr.

JSS

February 28th, 2011
9:06 pm

@ Jamaica…
The funny thing is that he’ll never check in on his blog to possibly to correct it! However, it makes a great snapshot and pdf file for a constant reminder!

jim

February 28th, 2011
9:18 pm

Proofread! Proofread!

Q: Looking back, asses your team’s season last year at Georgia.

assess?

JSS

February 28th, 2011
9:48 pm

@ Jim…
You’re late to the party…

[...] boasted stellar numbers all while dealing with a broken bone in his foot. Jones was trailing only Georgia’s WR A.J. Green for the top draft position, but now the gap could significantly grow with Jones being [...]

Terrell

March 1st, 2011
8:01 am

JB check your facts before you go off spewing garbage out your mouth:

In April 2009, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, whose stated mission is “to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets,” approved a preliminary commitment to lend at least $2 billion to Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, to fund the purchase of equipment and services from American companies. The commitment was approved by the Export-Import Bank’s bipartisan Board of Directors before any Obama appointees joined the agency.